Some Nifty Tools

A while back I made a post titled ‘Free Tools for the CAD Manager/User‘.  In it I outlined a number of nifty tools I knew about and/or used in the past.  Over the last several months I have come across a few other tools that I personally find helpful.

Task & Project Organization: Mindjet MindManager ($)

Admittedly the influx of mind mapping software isn’t for everyone.  I personally have found it to be quite beneficial for me as I embark on a quest to see a snapshot of a project at a glance.  I keep track of who is working on, and who has access to projects, who I have chatted to, what I need to do on the project and more.  I have also found it to be a stellar tool for taking notes in meetings.

Instant Messaging: Digsby (FREE)

No Digsby isn’t a new instant messaging platform, instead it’s a single application for all of your instant messaging needs.  Most of my friends are on AIM, and so I have an AIM account to keep in touch with them.  Additionally I have a personal Google Talk account, and a business one as well.  I also use Twitter to make notes to myself, and track what I have done all day (so I can fill out my timesheet).

Digsby does more than instant messaging though, it also can also integrate into your e-mail inbox, alerting you of new messages.  MySpace and Facebook are also integrated, making Digsby your one stop shop for communication.

Application Launching: Launchy (FREE)

Personally, I try to limit the number of icons on my desktop (sometimes I’m not incredibly successful, but I try).  From just an AutoCAD perspective, I have icons for Map 3D, Land Desktop, Civil 3D, Civil 3D as AutoCAD, Raster Design on LDT, Raster Design on Map, Raster Design on Civil 3D, etc.  Point is AutoCAD alone inundates me with icons. Launchy on the other hand makes it so I can keep a clean desktop, and when I want to open Civil 3D, I just type ‘Civil 3D’, and it launches.  If you’re not a keyboard warrior, than this application is not for you, but if you’re quick at the keyboard than you will want this little program!

Donnie Gladfelter
Donnie Gladfelter

Donnie is author of the book and Autodesk Official Press, AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT: No Experience Required, a columnist for AUGIWorld Magazine, Autodesk University speaker, and former member of the AUGI Board of Directors.


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